Issue: What do I do if I think that my attorney committed an ethics violation?

Insight: You should contact the division of your state’s bar, which handles disciplinary actions of attorneys.  Each state has a different process for submitting a complaint, but a written submission describing the ethical violations is usually required.

If the reviewing authority believes that the attorney committed an ethical violation, it will likely begin disciplinary proceedings.  The attorney will have an opportunity to defend the allegations and the disciplinary committee may hold a formal hearing.  The prosecuting attorney may want you to submit an affidavit or testify at the hearing.  Typically, the disciplinary committee will hear evidence and issue a recommendation of discipline, which can include private admonition, public admonition, suspension or disbarment.  The recommended ruling will usually be submitted to the highest court in the state, which will issue a final judgment.  You can click here to find your state and information about filing an ethical complaint or grievance.